I have been wanting to experiment with oil and water macro shots for awhile now. Today I had fun playing! If you are interested, I’ll explain how I did this at the bottom of the post. Here’s my favorites!
ISO 4000 f/8 1/200 sec.ISO 3200 f/8 1/250 sec.ISO 3200 f/11 1/200 sec.ISO 4000 f/8 1/200 sec.ISO 200 f/9 1/160 sec.ISO 2000 f/8 1/640 sec.ISO 200 f/16 1/320 sec.ISO 200 f/9 1/160 sec.
How I did it: I used a glass cup, filled it with a little water and place it on a glass dish supported by two books. I used the flashlight on my phone to project light up into the bubbles. I wanted to add some color, as well as diffuse the light so I used colorful sheer ribbon on top of the light. After I had my camera settings ready I poured a little olive oil (about a tsp.) into the cup. I watched the bubbles separate for a minute and photographed the clusters shooting straight down at them. If the bubbles weren’t separating like I wanted I swirled it around a bit with a straw. The last image I added a drop of food coloring to one of the bubbles. Here’s a pullback of my setup.
You don’t necessarily have to use a cup. You could pour water/oil right into the dish. I just wanted the bubbles to be contained a little more. The water looks red in the glass here because this was taken right after I added the food coloring.
A couple more hints…
Make sure your aperture is set at f/8 or above to get all of the bubbles in a cluster in focus. I handheld my camera, so all my shutter speeds were at least 1/160 sec. Most were above 1/250 so I could freeze the movement of the bubbles. If you don’t have enough light for those settings I would recommend using a tripod. It takes a super steady hand to get those bubbles in perfect focus! I was holding my breath on a lot of these…haha!
Also, make sure you focus on the edge of a bubble, not the background color underneath. And use manual focus at the closest focusing distance your macro will allow. My lens allows me to get about 6 inches away from the bubbles!
Now it’s your turn! I challenge you to try it. Then come back here with a link so I can check out your images when you are done!